Avenas, France

Crafting expressive Cru wines in Beaujolais has become Julien Sunier’s calling, albeit perhaps not the most intentional at first.  He was introduced to wine by one of his mother’s clients, Christophe Roumier, and consequently decided to work with Christophe for a summer while finding himself, and what he wanted to do for a living.

This experimental summer quickly turned into harvests abroad (New Zealand and California were easy choices because of  their surfing culture), oenology school, and working in the cru vineyards of Beaujolais.  Julien purchased his first parcels of land in 2008, which today amounts to approximately 7.5 hectares of densely planted vineyards where all of the work is completed by hand.

We visited Julien’s domaine in May of 2022, getting lost a few times on the winding dirt roads as we made our way up high into the hillside just outside of Fleurie and Morgon.  After many messages, and a couple of phone calls, we eventually found ourselves at his converted 19th-century farm property.  The winemaking facility is covered, but not insulated, and features strategically placed windows and doors which are opened to allow cool breezes through.  The wines are farmed organically, and biodynamics are practiced in both the vineyards and cellar.

Wine bottle label of Alba Tilia from Dluhe Grefty

~2022 WILD SOUL~

Beaujolais-Villages, as with his other wines, the grapes come from older vines (25-65 years) and were grown at higher altitudes, resulting in freshness, vibrancy, and a lithe palate.  

Here the emphasis is on fruitiness, so the grapes were carbonically macerated for 10-14 days in fibreglass tanks before pressing.  The wine then aged in concrete ovoids and vats (no wood) to maximize fruitiness, and a small sulphur addition was made at bottling.  A lovely everyday wine, with charming peppery notes and soft dark fruits. 

WILD SOUL 12 x 750ml | SKU #324189 | $29.11
Wine bottle label of alba mixtura from dluhe grefty

~2022 RÉGNIÉ~

This expression of Régnié is made from grapes grown in 3 lieu-dit parcels, with an average vine age of 60 years.  The fruit was carbonically macerated for 10-20 days before pressing, and then aged in a combination of cement tanks and neutral barrels for 8 months.  

Lively and expressive, with notes of stewed strawberries, raspberries, violets and peonies, subtle umami undertones and velvety tannins.  

RÉGNIÉ 12 x 750ml | SKU #324192 | $33.63
Wine bottle label of Alba Rosales from Dluhe Grefty

~2022 MORGON~

The grapes for this wine come from 7 small plots, with an average vine age of 60 years, and grown in sandy pink granite soils.  The grapes were whole-cluster carbonic macerated in sealed tanks for 10 days, then semi-carbonic for another 10 days before pressing.  The wine then aged in neutral barrels for 9-11 months and received a small sulphur addition at bottling.  

Generous and fleshy, with black fruit notes, a touch of spice, and elegant silky tannins. 

MORGON 12 x 750ml | SKU #324197 | $39.07
Wine bottle label of Rufus from Dluhe Grefty

~2022 FLEURIE~

Grown on 2 lieu-dit plots at an elevation of 300-350m. in decomposing granite soils with small veins of quartz.  Whole bunches were carbonically macerated for 10-20 days, then pressed to neutral barrels for 8-11 months of ageing on fine lees.  

Enticing and seductive, aromas of iris and violet, raspberry and wild strawberry, harmoniously balanced with refreshing minerality and delicate tannins.

FLEURIE 12 x 750ml | SKU #324200 | $39.74